Word of the Week: Nadir

From the perspective of a spacecraft, the direction toward the center of a planetary body; straight down.

During science operations, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will observe Bennu from both nadir and off-nadir positions to better map the asteroid’s surface. Nadir-pointed images show the ground straight-on. Off-nadir-pointed images show surface features from different angles, which can reveal depth and be used to create three-dimensional views of the asteroid.

Credit: University of Arizona


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